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Karmah
Thursday, 31 May 2018 at 9:13am
Tuesday, 3 July 2018 at 9:47am
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Thread: Is it okay to expect advisor(s) to offer a word of condolence?

posted
03-Jul-18, 09:47
edited about 7 seconds later
by Karmah
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posted about 2 months ago
I'm a third-year Ph.D. student. A few months ago, I lost my maternal grandfather and grandmother in quick succession. More recently, I lost my close friend in a bus accident and my paternal grandmother was wheeled into the emergency room. These incidents have affected me personally and I haven't been able to focus on my work as much. I emailed my advisors everytime an incident happened (to take a 2-3 days off) but both of them didn't bother to reply. Even after I met them face to face, they did not ask me how I'm doing or if I need any help?

This has led me to feel that my emotions are not valued and I'm being used just as a tool to get experiments done. Am I wrong to expect a word of condolence from my advisors or do they think that they might cross personal boundaries?

Thread: Struggling to manage illness and PhD supervisor

posted
07-Jun-18, 12:26
by Karmah
Avatar for Karmah
posted about 3 months ago
Dear GiGi,

I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of this. It's unfortunate that your supervisor can't understand what you're going through. My suggestion is to do what you're doing without compromising on your health, submit your thesis as soon as you can (since you say that your lab work will be done by Dec 2018) and move on.

Good luck to you and hope you get well soon.

Thread: Difficult advisers, losing sanity!

posted
31-May-18, 09:15
edited about 14 seconds later
by Karmah
Avatar for Karmah
posted about 4 months ago
I am a PhD student in the best-ranked university in my country (not America or the UK) and pursuing my research in a field that I am (was?) passionate about. All was fine for a couple of years - I loved my work, did fruitful experiments and presented a paper at the best conference in my field. I also successfully defended my PhD candidacy and got good comments from my panel which boosted up my morale significantly.

Things started going downhill from this point.

I had enough data to publish in a journal just three months after I had presented my conference paper. So, I prepared the manuscript and sent it to my advisors (I have two). Without even bothering to read the manuscript, they wanted me to aim for a journal with a higher impact factor rather than the one I was targeting and so, they asked me to pursue a few more experiments. After four more unsuccessful months, I get the news that a similar work to mine (same experimental design, same goals) was just published by a group from another university.

Now, my advisors turn into PANIC mode. They accused me of being too slow and not making enough effort. In fact, they didn't even remember that I had sent them the draft manuscript four months ago.

My relationship with my advisors turned sour after this. They did not respond to my emails calling for meetings, failed to go through important presentations and never responded positively to my ideas. In the midst of all this, I lost my grandmother and they didn't even offer a word of condolence (perhaps I'm expecting too much?).

Furthermore, I was working on another side project which also gave promising results and was accepted to a prestigious conference. My advisors did not have a look at the draft manuscript for this conference paper, hardly offered any comments or suggestions and did not respond to my email asking them to have a look at my presentation. I travelled alone to the conference (to another country) and presented my paper without any feedback from my advisors. After returning back, they did not even ask how my presentation went.

As a result of this and more, I have gone into a depressive state, lost my motivation for the field I once loved, become a social recluse and lost out on my mental health. It has led me to ask myself "Why did I join this place?" every single day. I have even sought professional help from a therapist but that seems to be of no help.

Apologies for the long post but any advice will be helpful. Criticism is welcome. Thanks for reading.
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